The Plain Truth About Healing
by Herbert W. Armstrong
the day of miracles past? Does the living God heal sickness and disease
today upon believing prayer? Or was healing performed only by Christ
and the original apostles? Did God raise up medical science for our
day? What about modern faith healers and public healing services?
You live in a
world that relies primarily on medical doctors to treat illness. Most
professing Christians today say: "God raised up medical science for our
day. Jesus healed to prove He was the Messiah. But the day of miracles
is now past."
Some think God
heals through self-professed faith healers and attend public healing
shows. Some believe in healing by one of the forms of "mental science"
- the power of mind over matter. Others say: "Well, I think God can
heal - IF it's His will. But how can we know whether it's His will?"
Yes, people say!
But what does GOD say?
Does He reveal
whether He still heals, why He heals, how He heals, whether and when it
is His will? For the answers we go to the Bible.
Christ's ministry was dual
begin at the beginning. Actually, there are two beginnings, so far as
the subject of healing is concerned - one in the New Testament, with
Christ; the other in the Old Testament, with the people of ancient
Israel. We shall begin with the ministry of Jesus. Later, many readers
will be surprised to learn how much is recorded on the subject
throughout the Old Testament.
More than 1,900
years ago - in A.D. 27-31 - Jesus Christ appeared on earth as a
messenger bearing history's most important message from God to mankind.
His mission was prophesied in Malachi 3:1.
actually was a stupendous NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT. The news was the most
transcendent GOOD NEWS! It was the GOSPEL (which means "good news") of
But Jesus' ministry was a dual ministry. And a miraculous ministry.
Jesus came also
healing the sick by the divine POWER of God. It was not the power of
human mind over matter. Few realize the extent to which healing and
casting out demons were an integral part of Jesus' ministry. Later, the
apostles proclaimed His same message and healed the sick.
Ministry of healing ceases
comes as an astounding shock to learn that long before the end of the
first century, the proclamation of Christ's Gospel to the world and the
ministry of physical healing ceased!
was the glorious messianic announcement of the coming world-ruling
KINGDOM OF GOD. It was the announcement of the wonderful WORLD
TOMORROW! It was not a message of doom! - except for the doom of this
world's evils, sufferings and unhappiness. It was a joyous announcement
of coming world peace, universal happiness and well-being!
But the leaders of the people in Judea misunderstood and resented both that good NEWS and Jesus' MIRACLES.
were public, but they weren't healing shows. He simply healed the sick
wherever He came to them or they came to Him. But of course the
miracles attracted enormous crowds. Many began to believe on Him.
This alarmed the
chief priests and the ruling Pharisees. It stirred them to violent
persecution. They totally misunderstood Jesus' message! His news
announcement was that of the yet-to-come Kingdom of God, not - as they
supposed - of the overthrow of the Roman government of their day.
The Romans, then
ruling the Western world, avoided most of the details of government
administration in Judea by causing the Jews to rule themselves at the
rulers loved their position of authority. They viewed Jesus as an
anti-Roman agitator proposing to overthrow the Roman rule. They feared
being imprisoned as seditionists if they sided in any way with Jesus.
They plotted to kill Him, and at God's set time Jesus was crucified,
making possible man's reconciliation with God.
Power of the Holy Spirit given
raised Jesus from the dead, making possible eternal life for humanity.
On the 50th day (called Pentecost) after His resurrection, the 120
converts of Jesus, including the apostles, received the POWER of the
Holy Spirit of God. In that power they proclaimed the good news of the
Kingdom of God. In the same divine power from God by which Christ
healed, they healed the sick wherever they went.
But, as with
Jesus, so now with the apostles: The miracles drew tremendous crowds.
Without any pressured solicitations, thousands were converted and
baptized. But soon the persecution against them multiplied.
Two years after
Jesus' resurrection, A.D. 33, Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8), the Pater
(father or Peter) of the Babylonian mystery religion in Samaria, after
being rejected by Peter, appropriated the name of Christ and applied it
to his Babylonian mystery religion, calling it "Christianity." Simon
and his followers began systematic opposition and persecution against
the true Church of God, founded in A.D. 31 by Jesus Christ. (How the
Babylonian mystery religion was moved into Samaria in 718 B.C. is
explained in II Kings 17:18-24.)
Gentile and Jewish opposition
earliest opposition against Christ's Church was Jewish, opposing the
acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah. Judaizers insisted on observing the
temporary rituals of Mosaic law. For this reason the early ministry of
the apostles put prime emphasis on the replacement of rituals by the
Holy Spirit, and on the resurrection, infallible proof of Christ's
were personally with Jesus for 3½ years before His crucifixion
and for 40 days after His resurrection - so they were eyewitnesses to
After A.D. 33,
as the work of this Simon the Sorcerer spread, the opposition to the
true Church became gentile. The writings of Paul, as well as I and II
Peter, of James, of I, II and III John and Jude show the gentile
opposition was primarily aimed against the law of God. Simon
appropriated the doctrine of grace from the teaching of the apostles,
but it was grace turned into license to disobey (Jude 4).
They preached a
false Jesus who, they said, did away with the basic spiritual law of
God. Simon and his followers preached a totally different gospel than
the apostles - primarily that of their own Babylonian mystery religion
with grace and Christ's name added. Of course they got it to the
Galatians, Paul wrote: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him
that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel"
Corinthians, Paul wrote: "For if he that cometh preacheth another
Jesus. . . or another gospel. . . " (II Corinthians 11:4). Of these
Simon Magus-type preachers, Paul wrote: "For such are false apostles,
deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as
the ministers of righteousness" (verses 13-15).
It was Satan -
the former cherub Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-17) - who
originally rebelled against the GOVERNMENT OF GOD and caused its
removal from the earth. Satan is the god of this world (II Corinthians
4:4). He has his churches and his ministers. They oppose the law of
God. Therefore they oppose the KINGDOM of God, since it is governed by
the laws of God. These apostles of Satan offered the world an easier
religion. Obedience was unnecessary.
Dark Age begins
opposition of Simon's false church finally snuffed out the proclaiming
of the MESSAGE of the KINGDOM OF GOD. Before the end of the first
century, the curtain was systematically rung down on all records of
true Church history.
When the curtain
lifts, late in the second century, we behold a "Christianity" utterly
unlike that of Christ and His original apostles. Its doctrines,
sacraments and customs were those of the Babylonian mystery religion.
It persecuted and martyred those true Christians still holding to the
teachings and customs of Christ and His apostles. Christ's doctrines
and customs were branded as "Jewish." The term "Jewish" became a dirty
word - an epithet.
The message God
sent to mankind by Jesus Christ - the true Gospel Christ preached, the
announcement of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD - was done away by
expediently calling THE CHURCH (Simon's) "the kingdom of God." Some,
later, reduced the KINGDOM OF GOD to an ethereal indescribable
something "set up in men's hearts."
manipulations of "the god of this world," Satan, by whom ALL NATIONS
HAVE BEEN DECEIVED (Revelation 12:9), the true GOSPEL MESSAGE CHRIST
BROUGHT was suppressed and not proclaimed to the world after the first
century! And healing the sick as a regular practice had ceased also.
Thus the DUAL ministry of Christ and the apostles was no part of what the world has accepted as traditional Christianity.
over the centuries, mostly unrecognized by the world, the true and
original Church of God has continued through all generations to the
In the book of
Revelation two churches are described. One, in the 12th chapter, the
true and original Church of God, small and persecuted, having to endure
hardship, persecution and martyrdom for survival; the other, in the
17th chapter, the great politically popular church, ruling over kings
and nations of this world, drunk with the blood of saints and martyrs
centuries Christ's true Gospel - His MESSAGE from God of the coming
KINGDOM OF GOD - had not been proclaimed to the world. It was only
taught to the comparative few - secretly - who kept the Church of God
alive through the centuries.
original one and only true Church of God still lives! And still
persecuted, maligned, misrepresented, it is restoring the true Gospel
of Jesus Christ today! It is sending out that good news worldwide - as
a witness for all nations, in real POWER!
doctrine of healing the sick is also being restored. There have been
multiple thousands of miraculous healings. But not, in our time,
spectacular public displays of sensational miracles to attract both
crowds and added persecutions. The REASONS for this and the truth about
the whole subject of healing will be made plain in this series of
There have been
"gospel" programs - scores of them - all over the world. But, as Paul
described, they have each been another gospel. Christ's MESSAGE was
suppressed. Christ has been preached to the world - but a different
But, what about
healing the sick TODAY? HOW is it being restored in God's Church? This
important series will continue next issue and will be available later
in booklet form.